Tuesday, 23 July 2013

30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge: Day 23 and 24

Day 23: What do you say to yourself when you need a pep talk?

It could be a good deal worse.

I know, I'm committing a terrible act of cliche. However if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

There I go again.

Quite honestly though it's a mixture of that and quietly thinking about everything I either have managed to do or know I can do in the future. If we present the coin of chronic illness, I believe either outlook of looking at what can be done or thinking about what can't be done are very much the two sides.

Also as regular readers will no doubt have noticed, I tend to find something in the situation to laugh at. Getting simple words mixed up, misplacement and loss of things which were in your hand all the time, random physical quirks and every other colourful part of my conditions are at the same time somewhat depressing and downright hilarious. It's to my mind at least a matter of where you choose to focus - laughter is healthier for me so I lean towards it. That isn't to say I don't have low moods or bad days - of course I do - but for the most part I try and make the decision a conscious one.

I remember a teacher once telling me that the way you respond to the question "how are you?" can actually affect your overall mood. If you say "not great" then you'll feel somewhat downcast afterwards. "Okay", "pretty decent" and such are better, but if you make the transition to saying "good" or "great" then you'll feel better.

That isn't to say I lie on a bad day - I don't believe there'd be a great deal of point to that approach - but it's something I do try to keep in mind. Whether it works because the observation is a true one or because I expected it to work after hearing about it, I'm not overly concerned. The fact it does work is good enough for me.

(The only option yielded by a "smile" search in Google which wasn't at least a little vomit-inducing. The things I do for you, lovely readers!)

Day 24: How have you managed to juggle your social life through your illness?

Through the good fortune of having extremely understanding friends.

When I decided to cease bothering with alcohol to see if it would calm bowel issues down a bit - this was before having any inclination about my Interstitial Cystitis - I met with a couple of people who delivered the "YOU DON'T DRINK??!" exclaim of surprise with rather the same manner I'd have expected if I'd announced I'd discovered the meaning of life.

Now everyone's choices are their own and I appreciate it was much easier to give alcohol up coming from a place of never really having caught the "bug" if you will. I'm generally not a terribly judgmental person by nature, but the people who seemed to equate giving up drinking with loss of a limb really make me believe they need to take a good long look at themselves.

That thought aside, my friends were incredibly understanding that as a sober person there comes a time in any night when everyone else is too drunk for you to still be sober and I'll take my leave. I'm absurdly grateful in the face of all that ridiculous shock for the way this was just accepted and not even once thought to be a problem.

I'm lucky in that I am no longer surrounded by people who read an ulterior motive into my sudden cancellation of a get together, or those who think the correct way to respond to my being too ill to meet them is to make snide comments about their own comparative importance in my eyes. I've said it before and I'll say it times many again no doubt.

You don't need to tolerate people like that. If they can be shown the error of their outlook, then educate them. If they can't, don't waste valuable spoons on fruitless endeavour. Give your time to the people who deserve it.

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